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RSS blames untouchability on Islam, BJP ally unhappy

The RSS Sah-karyavah also spoke on Islamic invasion and religious conversion. He accused both Islam and Christianity of taking the conversion route to expand their numbers.

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New Delhi, Aug 27 (IANS) Senior RSS functionary Krishna Gopal has blamed untouchability on Islam and accused the British of coining the term ‘Dalit’, invoking a rebuke from a Janata Dal (United) leader.

“The first example of untouchability is seen after Islam came,” Gopal said at a book release event here on Monday.

“It is seen when at Raja Dahir’s household his queens were on way to commit ‘johar’. They mentioned the word ‘malechcha’ and said they need to hurry to the ‘johar’, else the ‘malechcha’ will touch them and they will become impure.

“This is the first example of untouchability in Indian text,” Gopal said.

The word ‘Dalit’ was coined by the British with a view to “divide and rule”, he added.

The RSS Sah-karyavah also spoke on Islamic invasion and religious conversion. He accused both Islam and Christianity of taking the conversion route to expand their numbers.

Union Culture Minister Prahlad Patel was on stage when Gopal made the comments.

But JD(U)’s General Secretary Pawan Kumar Verma said it was more important to look within than blame others.

Taking a dig at Gopal, Verma said that it was not the ethos of Hinduism to blame its problems on others. The JD(U) is an ally of the BJP, whose ideological mentor is the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS).

Earlier, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat sparked a row by calling for a debate between people who favour and oppose reservation in jobs and education.

A comment on similar lines before the Bihar Assembly elections in 2015 triggered outrage, contributing to the BJP’s defeat.

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Minor fire in Mumbai cloth shop, doused

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Mumbai, Feb 21 (IANS) A minor fire broke out in a cloth shop in Dadar in Central Mumbai early Friday morning, which was later doused, officials said.

There was no casualty, even as the fire’s cause is being probed.

At least four fire tenders were rushed to the shop located within the Ranjit Studio compound near Chitra Talkies.

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Delhi Metro: Services at Yellow Line resume after brief halt

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New Delhi, Feb 21 (IANS) Yellow line of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), running from Delhi Haat INA to Huda City Centre, resumed after a brief halt on Friday.

Due to the inadvertent delay, several passengers remained stranded on the metro platform at the peak hours in the morning. The cause of delay, however, remains to be unknown.

“Yellow Line Update. Delay in service from Delhi Haat INA to Huda City Centre. Normal service on all other lines,” the DMRC tweeted at 10 a.m.

After about 20 minutes, the rail corporation again tweeted that normal services have been restored. “Yellow Line Update Normal service has resumed.”

The Delhi Metro’s Yellow Line connects Samaypur Badli in Delhi to HUDA City Centre in Gurgaon.

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Snowfall in Shimla, Kufri cheers hoteliers

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Shimla, Feb 21 (IANS) Popular tourist destinations Shimla and Kufri again received snowfall on Friday, while the lower hills across Himachal Pradesh were lashed by rain, bringing the temperature down by several notches.

Towns in upper Shimla district were cut off temporarily with snow cover piled on roads, officials said.

Hoteliers welcomed the snowfall as they looked forward to more tourist footfalls this weekend.

Tourist spots near Shimla like Fagu and Narkanda looked even more picturesque after significant snowfall. In Shimla the snow largely melted. However, in Kufri and Narkanda it would stay for much longer duration.

With 3 cm of snow, the minimum temperature in Shimla was recorded at 0.2 degrees Celsius. It was 23 cm snow in Kufri, just 13 km uphill from the state capital.

Keylong in Lahaul and Spiti district was the coldest place in the state at minus 3.7 degrees Celsius. It was 6.6 degrees Celsius in Dharamsala, 0.8 degree in Kalpa and 4 degrees Celsius in Manali.

Dharamsala and Nahan towns had 10.6 mm and 16.7 mm rain respectively.

Meanwhile, traffic movement beyond Dhalli, 10 km from Shimla, was temporarily suspended as a large stretch of the Hindustan-Tibet Road was under a thick blanket of snow.

The Met Office said a Western disturbance — a storm system originating from the Mediterranean-Caspian Sea region and moving across the Afghanistan-Pakistan region — would remain active till Sunday, bringing in its wake more rain and snow.

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